Holy Saturday

Darkness Surrounds us Like a Seed in the Earth

We begin our service where Good Friday ended: with Jesus being escorted by the guards out from the Garden of Prayer. We follow Simon Peter to the courtyard of the high priest's home and watch in horror as the injustice of corrupt leaders condemns an innocent to death. We weep. We grieve. The hairs on our arms stand on end...

The Sanctuary is now dimly lit, more by candles than by overhead lighting. Much of this movement is read and recorded by the cross and stained-glass windows. A sword rests near the cross. Women weep and pray, lamenting as our Lord is carried away and laid into the Earthen tomb. A stone is rolled over the entrance. Darkness and shadow arrive.

Yet, the words of Jesus echo in our hearts. We hear Scriptures of Promise and songs of hope as we reflect on what it means to follow Jesus, even into the tomb. There, in the darkness, we are surrounded. And yet, something begins to transform.

We end our time with a postlude that is a bit dissonant at the end of the musical piece. Readings include a seed “dying in the earth” to produce more fruit, sections of John's high priestly prayer (John 17:1, 10, 15-23) and Lydia shares a reflection from the voice of a seed entering the earthen womb of transformation.

Order for the 3rd Movement: Darkness Surrounds us like a Seed in the Earth

  1. Taize Music - "Stay with Me" (Solveig)

  2. Opening Scripture, “Holding the Potential of Dark and Light” – Genesis 1:9-13 (Terrie)

  3. Piano Solo – “O Sacred Head Now Wounded" and "Were you There" (Solveig)

  4. Scripture of Promise – John 12:24-26 (Steve)

  5. Reflection of A Seed in the Earth (Lydia)

  6. Song: “Hymn of Promise” (UMH 707) (Solveig)

  7. Scripture of Strengthening – Jesus’ High Prayer – John 17:1, 10, 15-23 (Trista)

  8. Song of Inquiry – “The Summons” (TFWS 2130, vs 1-4) (Solveig)

  9. A Moment of Silent Reflection (slide with seeds held in someone’s hand with earth-covered skin)


Darkness Surrounds us: Reflection of a Seed in the Earth

by Lydia Henry, Congregational Minister

From the fading blooms of the fall flower I fall

And am caught in the breeze that hints of cooler days

I am flung high into the air by the currents

And finally thrown to the ground to lie unnoticed alone

Lying in the remnants of summer as the trees leaves fall

There a squirrel digging for food pushes me deeper into dark

The darkness of earth – and covered – and forgotten

By the sky, but not the earth

Through the cold of winter, I wait in the darkness

Wait for the water to seep into the soil that cradles me

Wait for my shell home to drink that precious water

Wait as miraculous enzymes awaken my slumbering life

Wait for my roots to stretch and yawn as I awake

Awake to the warmth that surrounds my earth home

And I grow – grow deep roots and grow upward

Reaching, stretching joyfully toward the sun

The warmth

The light of day and the dark of night

For the sun and the earth nurture me so that I thrive

Thrive to grow and grow until it is time

Time for the gathering of the harvest

Time for my life seeds fly high

Time for me, a fading bloom of summer to fall


Postlude “Beneath the Cross of Jesus” by Gertrude Haupt Ricolson (Bonnie)


Blessings upon you all. Thank you for journeying with us through these Sacred Days! We pray that your entry into Easter morning is now a joyful one, bringing a new perspective on life, death, darkness and light. Spend some time breathing deeply on Easter Morning.

Imagine what it was like for Jesus to wake anew, to emerge from the depth of deep darkness into a new light, having been fully transformed and renewed through His time in the darkness of the tomb…

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